Tim Farron, South Lakes MP and chair of the all-party parliamentary hill farming group, said: "We need to do all we can to support our farming industry, particularly in the uplands where life can be a real struggle. This support and funding could make a massive difference to upland farmers throughout Cumbria and help show the next generation that there is a real future in a career in farming."
OK there's some votes in this for Tim but is he really saying that there is a 'career' in upland farming when - a breath earlier - we read this:
An upland farmer earns, on average, only £6,000 a year, which has led to a number of people leaving the industry.
Six grand-a-year! That's half the minimum wage and Tim Farron thinks that this is some sort of sustainable industry? There's more - despite a (rather illusory) 'boom', here's the economics of upland sheep farming explained:
Will Rawling, chairman of Herdwick Sheep Breeders' Association, said he was getting about 50p a fleece. It costs him 70p to have each animal sheared; bundling and transport fees take the total cost per sheep up to about £1.50, three times what he gets back.
To be fair the article also says most farmers are "breaking even" but it does seem that, not only isn't there a boom, but farming sheep on the fells isn't a viable business. If Tim Farron had said this and continued with 'but we need to find ways to continue the job, done by hill farmers at the moment, of caring for the fells', I would be with him. But he didn't, he simply called, like the good liberal, for price fixing.